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8-Year-Old Quadriplegic Awarded $29 Million in Medical Malpractice Case


Photo Caption: Christian Arroyo, of Gurnee, Illinois, suffers from CP as a result of an untreated “Group B Strep” infection. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times)

A federal judge in Chicago recently upheld a verdict to award the family of an 8-year-old quadriplegic $29 million.

The court ruled that Christian Arroyo’s cerebral palsy could have easily been prevented, and occurred as a result of doctors’ negligence to identify a “B Strep” infection after birth. Christian was delivered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and was cared for by doctors from Chicago’s Erie Family Health Center.

“Because of the doctors’ failure to detect the infection, Christian suffered severe and permanent brain injuries,” court documents said. “If the doctors had promptly treated Christian, it is likely that the damage done to Christian’s brain would have been significantly reduced.”

“Group B Streptococcus (GBS)” is a bacteria that exists in the vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts of up to 50 percent of women. It typically poses no threat to its carrier, but can put unborn children at severe risk for serious infection (especially those born prematurely). “B Strep” is usually passed on while a baby is in the birth canal, and is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns.

Christian, who was born nearly a month premature on May 16, 2003, reportedly exhibited several symptoms of having a GBS infection. Symptoms of Group B Strep can include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties
  • “Grunting” sounds
  • Unusual behavior
  • Limpness
According to Christian’s lawyer, Christian “had pretty much almost every sign of the infection; at one point, the baby was not even able to see, which is a really bad sign.”
What makes this story so tragic, is that a lifetime of suffering could have been prevented with a simple $15 prenatal screening. Or, in the absence of a screening, the administration of basic antibiotics after Christian was born. My heart goes out to the Arroyo family as they navigate the next stage of Christian’s life.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of children who have been injured during the birthing process.  If your child suffers from a birth injury– such as cerebral palsy or brain damage— we would honor the opportunity to speak with you about your legal options. Our cerebral pasly lawyers regularly work with families to help secure their child’s needs in the future.Resources:Group B Strep Association

Court Filings on Christian Arroyo’s Case

Cerebral Palsy Lawyers FAQ

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